CONTROVERSIAL plans to build 35 new homes on top of dozens of apartments have been thrown out by council chiefs.

Developers of the former Lavenir office building, on Opladen Way near Bracknell Leisure Centre, submitted designs for an extra floor to be built on top of the 69 flats already constructed at the site.

This proposal sparked outrage among residents who had moved into the newly-built homes but who claimed they were ‘not told’ extra living spaces would be built on top of them.

READ MORE: Unrest after residents 'not told' about plans to build new homes on top of them

But these same residents, many of whom objected to the new plan to add extra homes on top of Lavenir, will be claiming victory after Bracknell Forest Council (BFC) planning chiefs said no to the proposal.

In a letter published today (Wednesday, December 2), BFC head of planning Max Baker wrote: “It is considered that the proposal would result in an incongruous extension which is out of character and does not respect the design or architectural features of the existing elevations of the existing building.

Bracknell News:

“The proposal, due to its prominent location is highly visible from the immediate vicinity and the design would therefore have a significant detrimental impact upon the neighbourhood.”

The refusal came after a planning design expert recommended the proposal be refused.

READ MORE: Plans for 45 homes on top of office block refused by council

In their statement, they claimed: “the design of the additional floors follows none of the design rules that have been established with the building as it currently exists.”

They suggested adding the extra floor would be “incompatible”, “inappropriate” and “visually harmful within the street scenes.”

When the plans were validated in October it had appeared it may be difficult for BFC to refuse the proposal as they had been submitted as a prior approval application, which makes it easier for developers to turn empty offices into new homes.

Bracknell News:

But BFC officially rejected the designs on Monday, November 30 in a move which will please residents who opposed the plan.

One of the residents who lives at Lavenir told the News: “'I think I speak for everyone living here that we are all relieved the plans have been refused.

READ MORE: Plan to build flats on top of new homes revealed

“It would've caused havoc to our daily lives and issues to the people living near Lavenir.

Bracknell News:

“The fact the developers saw no issue with building above where people were already living, with a roof that already had issues was laughable.”

A separate planning application to add 45 flats on top of the new apartments was refused in 2019.